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The real issues on the just conducted Kaduna council elections

Whenever someone approaches you to say PDP was robbed in Soba, Kachia, Jaba, Jema’a, Sanga and Kaduna North local governments, the question that should readily come to your mind is: how? It will interest readers to understand and appreciate the dynamics of each local government and why the PDP believes its performance, rather than the reality, was responsible for the yeoman’s job clinically executed by those who have an axe to grind in one way or the other. But for them, the failure would have been woeful and monumental.

The APC introduced an innovation during its internal screening exercise, this is in pursuit of the powers conferred on political parties by the 2010 Electoral Act as amended to screen aspirants and present them for party primaries. The APC in their wisdom introduced written examinations to screen their aspirants. In the process so many of their party members were screened out including the immediate past chairman of Soba Local Government Alh Mohammed Mahmud Makama.

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To prove his mettle and political sagacity he engaged in full anti-party activities against his party’s candidate and with his weight and pedigree the PDP was able to attain the inconclusive position currently in place. Even at that, what accounted for the inconclusiveness is the omission of the results of Maigana ward. In other words, it was not the PDP that worked assiduously for such a remarkable outcome but the work of one of the aggrieved members of the ruling party against his party’s choice and anointed candidate.

Kachia local government is the home to the state chairman of the PDP; one will expect a convincing win by the PDP in that local government. Even as the immediate past council chairman was elected under the platform of the party, it didn’t take him long to defect to the ruling party after he was sworn in. There is a deep-seated message in such action and I leave that to political gladiators to interpret.

The fact that the outcome was inconclusive is enough to tell you that the win was marginal and not overwhelming, since a room existed to declare the results inconclusive. The popular saying that only the lazy workman blames his tools is instructive. The issue of the workability or malfunction of the electronic voting machines should not be bandied as an excuse for failure. How come the machines worked in Kaura LGA and failed in Kachia? Who is complaining about the Kaura results?

I was privileged to read a press statement issued by the Hon Member representing Jaba/Zango federal constituency where he commended both the Kaduna State Governor and KadSiecom for a transparent, free, fair and credible elections in Jaba LGA. I will assume that he still stands by that statement even after the elections was declared inconclusive.

Jema’a Local Government was a case of selling a bad product to demanding and competitive market, certainly buyers will search for an alternate better product and buy a good one or conversely protest against the sale of bad or expired product by massively patronizing a lesser quality product just to teach the preferred brand a lesson. Succinctly put the PDP candidate was a leprechaun that the electorate were not willing to touch.

In Sanga the blames went to Maikano, a villa administrative officer for importing external security… This is not a ballot box type of election that will witness ballot stuffing, as such security agencies or thugs cannot influence the exercise and its outcome through intimidation or violence. Unless they snatch the machine and make away with it.  

The elections in Kaduna North was plagued and characterized with varied issues. Like what happened in Soba, one of the aggrieved persons almost sponsored the elections because his team was surreptitiously schemed out of the contest. He and his team vowed to teach the APC a bitter lesson and he deployed men and resources to ensure success.

Secondly some members of the party were not involved in the process, so most of those that were not approached decided to adopt the Siddon look approach in the chairmanship tussle only participating in the councilorship contests.

This piece cannot be complete without the mention of the INEC supervised Sabon Gari State House of Assembly elections. Hon [Aminu] Shagali, the erstwhile speaker, was aggrieved in the manner he was impeached and subsequently dismissed. He along with his supporters and like-minds worked against the party by deploying men and materials as a punitive measure against what they termed the party’s excesses. In this election the party pacified him and he worked for his party.

In all, the council elections witnessed a low turnout with approximately about 10% of the total registered voters. The turnout was so poor that no polling unit can conveniently boast of a combined total of 150 votes for all aspirants. Therefore if by permutations and computation five polling units with say 1000 registered voters were excluded from voting and if the difference between the leading candidate and his runner up is more than a thousand votes, it will be a miracle for him to be upstaged in a rerun election. This is because one can hardly have more than 500 persons – one hundred per polling unit – turning out to cast their votes and even if we have a turnout of a 000 people unless the contender will score more than a thousand votes will be adjudged successful.

The PDP should stop deluding itself that it has the capacity to win future elections where APC has superior firepower in all spheres coupled with the power of incumbency. Unless and until all hands are on deck the 2023 envisaged victory might be elusive and indeed a mirage.

Umar Sani, a former spokesman to former Vice President Namadi Sambo, is a PDP chieftain.

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